Some crystal ball gazing...
Those who peer too much, into crystal balls, often eat glass <grin>.
I expect to see an amount of distance billing in the future, but only
alongside QoS billing, for example.
Email - Non urgent, low traffic - I would expect this to remain flat rate
(i.e. Free with connection). As with browsing traffic etc. Caches will
add an intersting factor to this model, e.g Retrieving files from the ISP's
local cache - (Free with connection), Retrieving from distant locations,
perhaps dependant on time of day etc.
Why would there be a difference? On one hand, ISP disk capacity is used and
OTOH ISP band-width is used. These days, about the same cost. Besides, it's
second-order effect anyway and the market won't stand-still for it.
Voice over IP - This is starting to get bandwidth and delay sensitive
dependant on the efficiency of the Internet in the future, I expect this
might start to be billed dependant on distance/providers travelled over
etc. As otherwise if two ISP's do not directly connect or peer, an
intermediate ISP would have to carry this traffic. If this traffic
requires a high QoS, I would imagine the intermediate ISP would want to
charge for it.
Does that "Intermediate ISP" include such as MAE-WEST? They're already
charging for it, have you seen NAP bandwidth prices lately?
Video over IP - When it comes around and end users via their xDSL
connections want to receive 1.5Mbs of video traffic - I can see definate
costs being incurred. Of course multicast techniques, caching etc will
make this not a geographical distance based pricing model, but a pricing
model will surely evolve.
Until we get decent bandwidth at the end-user site, this simply won't
happen. Modem connections barely support Voice-over-IP. I mean a
preponderance of end-users must have sufficient direct band-width to make
them a decent market. Even when this does happen, they won't want to use it
for video. A classic is the MCI commercial where that gal was telecommuting
(bath-robing at noon), the last thing such would want is a video-based
conference. Been there, doing that.
Of course this argument of carrying others traffic applies to peering also,
if two ISP's peer a similar amount of data, no problem, but if it is one
sided then billing would have to occur. In other words, we will all buy
and sell our connectivity to each other.
One thing this state of affairs would lead to if it occurs is some scope
for very interesting pricing models, value adds etc.
I don't think so. We have had remarkable lack of success in moving away
from the flat-rate pricing model, in the face of competition. Customers
want predictable bills. Volume based billing will not give them this.
However, they are more than willing to pay higher flat-rate costs, if there